Eddie Alvarez is making no excuses for his shocking first round loss to Timofey Nastyukhin in his ONE Championship debut this past weekend in Japan.
Alvarez, who signed with the Singapore based promotion after entering free agency last year, was the favorite going into the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix prior to the TKO loss this past Sunday.
According to the former UFC and Bellator champion, he got caught with a clean punch from the heavy-handed Russian that split his eyelid in two and that led to his downfall a few seconds later.
Alvarez addressed the loss and the end of the fight in his first statement via Instagram on Tuesday.
“Hey guys first and foremost congrats to Timofey in his victory, he is very deserving of everything that comes with victory and I wish him the best in the continued tournament,” Alvarez wrote on Instagram. “Honestly speaking how I fought my ONE Championship debut is not a reflection of my training my coaches, my team, it’s not even a reflection of my beliefs . I am sincerely disappointed and confused in my inability to not pull the trigger and my hesitancy on recent fight nights. It’s been quite confusing to figure out the past year or so. Coach Mark [Henry] always stresses “hesitancy is death” and it’s not something that is even in my character to do.
“In this particular fight I waited too long for an opening and paid the ultimate price. The punch that hit me, instantly blinded me and split both eyelids in half. It felt like my eye exploded from the inside and the pain was instant. From an outsider watching myself I should of have expected the result considering my actions. You have to punch, kick, takedown and pressure to win a fight, I waited. I simply waited too long for the correct timing and opening that never came.”
Click to the right on the Instagram post to see all of the images
The loss was obviously a massive setback for Alvarez as he expected to earn his way to a title shot by going through the grand prix tournament.
Now he’s been eliminated in the opening round and while he will obviously live to fight again, there’s no telling how long it will take him to get back to another chance to compete for gold.
The winner of the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix is expected to then move onto face new champion Shinya Aoki, who defeated Eduard Folayang by first round submission on the same card this past Sunday in Japan.
“Fighting continues to teach me life lessons thru my victories and even more through tough defeats,” Alvarez said. “Victory and defeat are by products of putting it on the line, they have been inescapable throughout my whole life. I hope to be judged on how I adjust and pivot from defeat and behave in victory rather than the result of a small moment in time.
“To my wife, kids family, coaches, teammates, friends and to all the fans, thank you always for your continued support, doing this is very lonely and isolated, a simple pat on the back goes a long, long way. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will make adjustments and come back true to form.”